Industry research firm IHS iSuppli said on March 17 that although many of the components in the iPad can be replaced with sources outside of Japan, the glass and the battery in the iPad may be more difficult to swap out.
“The ongoing disaster in Japan ‘may cause logistical disruptions’ for Apple” , iSuppli says. Even though some suppliers for the iPad may not be directly affected, disruption of business operations in the country, and aftershocks of last week’s earthquake, may still disrupt shipments of some parts.
Apple has multiple options to replace the NAND flash chips it gets from Toshiba. Also, DRAM parts sourced from Japan’s Elpida can be supplied from many other sources.
However, the special, more-flexible glass used in the display and the battery cells are the most difficult items to be replaced. Asahi Glass, where iSuppli speculates the glass is sourced, has reported damage to multiple facilities. And the battery cells inside the battery pack appear to be made in Apple’s Japan subsidiary, too.